Digital2Equal is an IFC-led initiative launched in partnership with the European Commission and brings together 17 leading technology companies operating across the online marketplace to boost opportunities for women in emerging markets.
Under the 18-month initiative, participating companies agreed to take steps to expand women’s access to jobs, assets, and business opportunities across their online platforms. They will make measurable, time-bound commitments. These range from closing gender gaps in their workforce to goals aimed at boosting opportunities for female consumers or providers of services and products on their online marketplaces.
In addition to their commitments, companies will join a series of learning events and contribute to thought leadership on how the digital economy can increase women’s access to jobs and assets—inspiring more companies to undertake efforts to correct the gender imbalance in the digital sector.
The initiative seeks to ensure that emerging technologies and business models—including the platform economy—benefit both women and men. Women already lag behind men in access to crucial assets like the Internet or mobile phones, limiting their economic opportunities. Reducing barriers to women’s use of online markets will translate to more users of online platforms—it’s a win-win situation for the companies and women in emerging markets.
The Digital2Equal initiative builds on IFC’s recent research, Driving Toward Equality: Women, Ride-Hailing, and the Sharing Economy, which highlighted how ride-hailing apps have the potential to increase women’s mobility and ease their entry into the transportation industry, where men outnumber women.
IFC’s work with the technology companies is part of its efforts to create markets for all. We work with the private sector to close gaps between men and women as employees, entrepreneurs, customers, and leaders. More companies are increasingly recognizing that to remain competitive, they need to better serve women across their business operations, including on digital platforms.
The companies participating in the initiative consist of global travel company Airbnb, Inc., global transportation platform Didi Chuxing Technology Co., Brazilian online marketplace Elo7, social media company Facebook, South African recruitment app Giraffe, global technology company Google LLC, leading "super app" in Southeast Asia Grab, African e-commerce company Jumia, Southeast Asian marketplace platform Lazada, online professional network LinkedIn, Kenyan work platform Lynk, Latin American e-commerce site Mercado Libre Inc., Chinese online lender and Ant Financial brand MyBank, Indian e-commerce firm Myntra Jabong, customer relationship management platform Salesforce.com Inc., South African home cleaning service app SweepSouth, and global ride-hailing firm Uber.
Join the conversation at #Digital2Equal
The initiative was launched on October 3, 2018, by Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group at the World Bank-IFC Disrupting the Gender Divide conference in San Francisco during a conversation with Manoush Zomorodi, Author, Podcaster, and Co-Founder, Stable Genius Productions. The announcement was followed by a panel discussion featuring the European Commission, IFC, and Digital2Equal member companies—Airbnb, Jumia Group, LinkedIn, and Lazada Group.
Read the press release.
Watch Jim Yong Kim's announcement: